Gazpacho is a classic Spanish cold soup, perfect for summer as an appetizer. It's great for entertaining since it's made ahead. Simple, quick, healthy and tasty.
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True, some of it is reminiscing my time there, but also there are some great dishes and I do love the Spanish approach to food - use good ingredients, make generally simple, tasty dishes and share your food so everyone can enjoy the different flavors together.
Plus, it's a cuisine that isn't as common here in the US as in the UK so between that and ease it's definitely one to recreate at home. This simple gazpacho is a perfect example (and one that's more widely known) - easy, refreshing and delicious, perfect for this time of year.
What is gazpacho?
Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup that is a great way to start a meal. I say tomato, but actually it always has other salad vegetables in there too, typically pepper and cucumber.
It's one of a few Spanish cold soups - others include salmorejo (similar tot his but thicker and simpler) and ajo blanco (made with almonds and bread). They are all easy to make and perfect for the summer heat.
As I say this is really easy - you just blend everything up then season and allow to chill. You don't need to chill it for too long, but it does help the flavors to mingle. You can make it thicker or thinner by either including bread or not, but either way it's very refreshing and tasty.
Given how simple it is, it's important to use as good quality ingredients as you can find, particularly tomatoes since they can vary so much in flavor. You may find the color varies a bit too, depending on your ingredients, but this is obviously just aesthetic.
Making gazpacho ahead of time
It's easy to make this in a large quantity and you can make it a day or two ahead of when you need it without any impact on flavor - just make sure you keep it refrigerated.
When you serve it, I like to add some extra tomato and cucumber for added crunch, and a little drizzle of good olive oil adds a little extra flavor as well.
As I said gazpacho makes a great appetizer and can be great for entertaining as it serves up quickly. You can serve it in shot glasses or other small glasses to more drink rather than spoon from a bowl as a tasty hor d'oeuvre which makes it even easier for parties.
It's a great, easy dish for hot days like we are having here at the moment - easy, refreshing but also good for you too. So grab some tomatoes, pepper and cucumber, get blending and enjoy.
Try these other easy Spanish tapas:
- Pan con tomate (Spanish tomato bread)
- Gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp)
- Spanish cheese plate
- Plus get more Spanish recipes in the archives.
- 1 lb tomatoes 450g
- ½ green pepper
- 6 oz cucumber 170g - approx ½ English cucumber
- 1 shallot or ¼ small red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 slice bread optional, without crusts
- ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt plus optionally, a little pepper
- Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing any tough central core. De-seed and roughly chop the pepper. Peel and roughly chop the cucumber, onion and garlic then place all in a blender.
- Blend until smooth then stir in the vinegar, oil and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste, with a little more salt, some pepper or a little more vinegar as you prefer. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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